Communications Blog

Ann Scheck has been a teacher in the Ferndale School District for almost four-decades. During that time, she has taught 4th and 5th grade. Scheck has been a teacher at Eagleridge since it opened and will be retiring at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Joanne Van Ert’s degree came from Eastern Washington University where she attended college after beginning her journey as an educator at a Spokane school. After graduating from high school, Van Ert says she was fortunate to find a principal who mentored her and gave her the experience of working in a school for the first time.

She has taught sixteen 3rd grade classes at Skyline Elementary. The 2018-2019 school year will be the 37th and last as a teacher for Kathy Galbraith who will retire this year.

Terry Fitzgerald has been with the Ferndale School District for 31 years and has been a teacher for 40. His journey started with an inspirational middle school art teacher and an experience watching a stage play that prompted him to consider how visual arts could play a role in the performing arts space.

When asked what inspired her to become a teacher, Gail says, “I had previously been both a dance teacher and a counselor focusing on the teen population in both areas. I love helping teens recognize their strengths and giving them tools to deal with the areas in their lives they need to work on. I also enjoy the “aha” moments when students make a cognitive, social, or creative leap in their development that enable them to be stronger critical thinkers and positive participants in our democracy. I always say that I have the best job in the world teaching and counseling students while dancing in between their ups and downs.”

To share Vista Middle School Principal Heather Leighton’s story is to share a story about the people she loves. Heather reflects on that and says, “I was fortunate enough to grow up with a family that has strong cultural boundaries. Living next door to my grandmother and with aunties whom served as pillars in our home provided me with a strong foundation.”

The Ferndale School District Transportation Department earned a 100% Efficiency Rating from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) via the Student Transportation Allocation Reporting System (STARS). Plus, a feature on the Ferndale School District transportation dispatch team.

Play with Fire, with Focus and for Family. It’s the message central to the mission of the Ferndale High School Boys’ Basketball program and representative of the types of lessons taught by coaches and teachers that extend beyond the sport itself or task at hand.

What’s your plan for childcare and activities over the summer? If your answer is “I don’t know yet,” Ferndale Boys & Girls Club Director Samantha Dennison encourages you to check out the Ferndale Boys & Girls Club. “I am so excited for what we have planned here in Ferndale this year. Each week has a special focus. Our 2019 Summer Schedule includes science, water, building, superheroes and international travel to name a few.” When asked why parents should be thinking early about summer plans, Dennison says, “We have 20 spots to fill at the Ferndale Club. We need to fill those spots early so that we know how to staff our club over the summer.”

Every year, each school works with a school improvement plan focused on increasing academic achievement. An example of the commitment to the student achievement priority can be seen at Horizon Middle School, where Horizon Principal Faye Britt and her staff have developed a strategy to improve academic vocabulary for students.

For a program spotlight, the theatre directors Rachel Pringle and Crissy Ford recently sat down to talk about Ferndale High School Theatre and share insights into work that goes into a production. Additionally, Frances Genger shared about the recent Young Americans Peforming Arts Workshop in the Ferndale School District.

Booster Club Member and Auction Chair, Carol Brumet says that community support has prompted the Booster Club to move forward with another big idea. “We are planning our inaugural Saturday Night Lights event on Saturday, June 22nd. This is a keystone event - the kind of event that alumni will come home to Ferndale to attend. Our community turned out in a really big way to support our recent school bond – we know what it looks like when Ferndale comes together for kids. That is what we see happening at our auction in June.” Booster Club members say that the best way to get involved with the Booster Club right now is save-the-date and help get the word out about the upcoming fundraiser: Saturday Night Lights Pioneer Pavilion & Field Saturday, June 22nd

Thank you to our staff of Educational Support Professionals for making it possible to provide Ferndale students with the best start for their futures.

Some large urban districts are arguing that the easiest path to sustainability is to increase the amount of taxes school districts can ask for locally. In other words, “to raise the levy lid” back to where it was before the Washington State Legislature changed education funding as the result the McCleary lawsuit, which determined the State had not been meeting its constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education. We do not agree that raising the local levy lid is a good idea.

Vista Middle School recently held its annual all-school food drive, collecting more than 4,000 pounds of food for donation to the Ferndale Food Bank.

Harvest of the Month, a partnership program with Whatcom Farm to School, has returned to the Ferndale School District and features a locally-grown fruit or vegetable on lunch menus each month.

The 27th Annual Ferndale School District Math Olympiad event was held in February at Cascadia Elementary School.

Vista Middle School's Great Kindness Challenge Natural Helpers Week has been rescheduled for March 4-8, featuring a week of themed activities and a challenge to perform as many kind deeds as possible.

National School Counselor Appreciation Week gives a special opportunity to say “thank you.” In 2019, we celebrate National School Counselor Appreciation Week February 4th – 8th. The Ferndale School District invites the community to join in sending gratitude to our school counselors during this special week.

January Community Questions

January 31, 2019

Superintendent Linda Quinn answers questions received throughout the month.

To recognize and show appreciation during School Board Recognition Month, the Ferndale School District had the opportunity to interview a few of the many staff members in the Ferndale School District as well as a group of elementary school students at Skyline Elementary School.

The latest in an interview series with Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn features Ferndale High School grad Jake Locker.

In Ferndale, we want our schools to provide a great start to every student’s future, and Jump Start Kindergarten – an early school readiness program – is playing an important role in achieving this goal.

Ferndale School District teachers from nine school campuses were recently named mini-grant recipients by the Whatcom County School Retirees Association (WCSRA) after applying for grants to support a variety of educational experiences for students.

Our bond measure to modernize Ferndale schools will be back on the February 12, 2019 Special Election ballot. This is the bond to build a new high school, make critical facility repairs and upgrades, improve school security, and modernize our Performing Arts Center.